The holidays are 10 days away. Think of ALL the holiday foods that will be surrounding you in 10 days. And let’s all be honest with ourselves…The Holidays mean Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day. Why? Because we eat from Thanksgiving all the way through New Years Day.
Now let me be clear, I don’t think anyone should deprive themselves over the holidays; but, there is a BIG difference between depriving ourselves and eating ourselves into a food coma. I have been known to do the latter. The week between Christmas & New Year’s Eve I live in black leggings.
So, let’s get prepared, together. To do that, I asked myself these question this morning.
- Is there REALLY any way for us to protect ourselves this holiday so we don’t wake up on January 1 feeling like we need to start a dramatic resolution?
- Is there any way to barricade ourselves so we don’t pack on 10 pounds like we have the past 10 years?
- AND even more important, is there any way to ENJOY the holidays, not feel deprived AND not pack on pounds?
I think yes. Let’s discuss. For starters, I think fear itself is what causes us to pack on the pounds. We put too much pressure on ourselves to NOT eat that we eat. Second, the holidays are emotional. We see family, no explanation needed. We see pictures on social media, no explanation needed. Plus, the holidays are a time marker meaning we look at where we were last year at this time and it’s emotional to see some we may not have accomplished. Many of those things are out of our control which makes it even more emotional.
Now if you are anything like me you already feel you have strategies that were loosely put in place for the holidays. And by loosely I mean we make a soft commitment to them in our head. For example, how many of us have already said to ourselves… I won’t gain weight this holiday season or I won’t eat 100 Christmas cookies this holiday season? Every time I say that in my head my gut knows I’m lying. It’s almost as if I say it out of obligation. Out of habit. Not because I actually trust and believe I can enjoy the holidays without thinking about weight gain.
This is what happened to me last year… every year my mom, sister, aunt, cousin and grandma have a girls baking day. We destroy the kitchen. Everyone makes the family favorites and we laugh at my grandma being funny even though she doesn’t know she’s funny. I really have nothing to contribute to baking day since I don’t know any of the family recipes. And as the second child (all second children know this) you take a backseat and assume your role as intern to your mom and older sister. So I usually just wait to do what I’m told and sometimes inappropriately decorate a santa cookie or two. Last year I decided I wanted to look up my own recipes on Pinterest. I’m obsessed with Pinterest. So I find this white chocolate Ritz cracker bark with M&Ms. It looked so good and easy. It was like 3 ingredients. So I whipped up a whole pan of salty sweet perfection. I’m almost positive between baking day and actual Christmas Day that I ate the entire 9 x 11 pan on my own. My point, that recipe had nothing to do with Christmas except that it contained Red & Green M&Ms. It had no tradition, no meaning, no history and nothing that I couldn’t get any other day of the year. I just ate it because it’s the holidays and we eat. That’s what many of us do. We eat to eat. We don’t eat because it’s a food we can only get once a year that we really sit and enjoy.
So this year I want to have a plan in place. And I think we should ALL take the next 10 days to be really strategic about making a plan to be happy this holiday season. Because as much as it’s hard to admit, it’s easy to say F-It I’m eating whatever I want but we know, from the past, that that attitude is not going to make us as happy as we think it is.
That’s why everyday this week I will be posting one question that will hopefully help you build a strategy to help you navigate the holidays.
Today: Ask yourself THIS question
What are you favorite foods? What do you REALLY love? What food(s) can you ONLY have during the holiday season that you are REALLY looking forward to?
For me, on thanksgiving it’s pumpkin Pie. So I’ll have a slice.
On Christmas, it’s my mother in laws chocolate cracker cookies. I LOVE them. And I plan to SAVE all my calories for them.
That’s my plan…what’s yours???
Remember…It’s about if we really love the food we’re stuffing ourselves with or if we are in love with using the holidays as an excuse to stuff ourselves:)